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Just Another Woman

Dump Truck
A man drove a massive dump-truck up my tough road and emptied the contents behind the Barn. The gravel will form the foundation for papercrete walls as well as some mud zone walkways, a necessity in rainy season. As I watched the truck bed rear up and rain down stones, I could not have imagined myself doing this. It isn’t that any person can’t, in the middle of their life, move on to the next fascination or to the next level of their path’s development, but this world of big vehicles and manual labor and power tools which I now inhabit is a very far cry from the delicacies of aesthetics and entertainment. It is so masculine. And I was so typically ornamental, ineffectual and feminine. This building is not, however, far from spiritual path which simply asks that we do what is in front of us with full attention.

Function vs. Beauty
Many days I reflect, with some small panic, on the enormity of the Ravenrock project. I am not turning it over to contractors to complete. I work side by side with Si every day, feeling the Barn develop the way one might work in a garden. Labor and growth. Feel the place take shape. Feel the way it will hold what has until now been abstract visioning. Visioning has to be done but I love far far more the doing. The screwing in, the hammer slam, the drag and grunt and shove and sweat dripping as flies hurry over to sip off my forehead. After, back at my cabin, I peel off my encrusted work clothes and rinse in the sun-heated shower before collapsing on my bed, knowing that I have finally done something basic—build. Build the sanctuary. How amazing to use my flesh for something so real and so functional. My sore body agrees. She is happy. She sleeps solidly. She wakes, full of herself.

Si told me the other evening that he really likes what I am doing here—working with him, not just telling him what I want and leaving. He thinks it is grand. It helps him love his job. I felt his respect and surprise. I almost blushed. I felt a little shy. I felt touched, almost cried. It was a much higher compliment than ones given me in my ‘past life’ by numerous men who thought my dancing and my body attractive. In those days, I was haunted by the sense of being embroiled in the standard trap—being beautiful for objectifying and avaricious eyes. I was staying in line and as long as I did stay in line I wasn’t even visible, let alone appreciated. I was just another woman being beautiful for a man.

Well, as a builder I am such a bumbler. I don’t know anything. My work is not terribly good. I look a fright. I’m in that crap zone between young (where you are always about to be the next Big Thing) and old (Still going? Well aren’t you fabulous and non-threatening!) But I am willing to learn, willing…



DancemeditationThank you for joining this great adventure and for sharing this with friends.
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    1. Love, love, love the content of this post….and the writing. Love you!

      August 4, 2012
    2. I am so inspired by you and look forward to come to see you out there some day.

      August 4, 2012
    3. Mary, Deb thank you so much.

      August 4, 2012
    4. Love this post…..the solid building of something……that’s what rearing children is like….for a time…….solid…….so interesting, your observations on being a woman……at its essence the man/woman thing has to be beautiful…..have we just gooped it up?

      August 6, 2012
    5. David #

      Oh blessed sweat. Move me.

      August 10, 2012
    6. Dee #

      If I weren’t tied down to this crazy business, I would be there right now with you, sweating and hammering. Stay tuned! Visit schedule coming very soon. Can’t wait!

      Much love and excitement… d

      August 11, 2012
    7. Anastasia Blaisdell #

      Oh and so wouldI be hammering away and lovin’ it!!! oh! if I didn’t have a little baby…Amba Lena would probably like it too!! I wish I wish!

      August 29, 2012
    8. Amy Priest #

      This is no criticism of your navigation of the world of building and masculine energy, but the word “ineffectual” in describing your past aesthetic practice has put a bee in my bonnet. Dunya, I hope you know that your dance has not been “ineffectual” for me. I have only taken a few classes from you, only seen you perform a couple of times many years ago, but that short exposure was very potent, very effectual at awakening in me how bellydance can be a channel for powerful feminine spiritual energy–so much more than just entertainment for objectifying gazes. Growing up as my dad’s construction helper and dressing plainly to avoid unwanted catcalls, I have had to work to shed the tomboy vibe and to reclaim my essential femininity and creativity. As I envision re-emerging in bellydance performance with even more passionate feminine power than before, I say this to encourage myself and in gratitude to you: It is just as valid to move souls with our art as it is to move stones and wood with our bodies.
      Much love, Amy

      September 8, 2012
    9. Amy, what a beautiful perspective. It is true we all seek our balance, and I love your passionate validation of the deep beauty in art.

      September 8, 2012

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